Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Coronavirus in Toronto

A second case of the virus has been confirmed in Toronto. The impact of the novel Coronavirus expands as cases around the world continue to grow. I have read that the cases are growing exponentially and are expected to peak in May or June which means a lot of people will be infected. New hand sanitizing stations are appearing in the Toronto Eaton Centre as the virus continues to gain steam around the world.

Spreading the virus between humans happens during the early phase when symptoms are not apparent 2 to 14 days after infection. While it appears to have a much lower mortality then SARS it puts a lot of people in the hospital, which can overload already atrained health resources. Research will hopefully contain the virus before mutations make the virus more deadly.

News Release January 29, 2920 - Statement from Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health.

"Yesterday, we received lab confirmation of the second of two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Toronto. We also learned that there is a presumptive positive case in British Columbia. This news is not unexpected as we have a very mobile population, with a lot of travel back and forth between Canada and China. I am reminding residents that at this time, the risk to our community remains low.

Inaccurate information continues to spread, and this is creating unnecessary stigma against members of our community. I am deeply concerned and find it disappointing that this is happening. Discrimination is not acceptable. It is not helpful and spreading misinformation does not offer anyone protection. I understand that when there are uncertainties people may worry. I want to remind people to check credible, evidence-based sources to get the facts when seeking information. We are updating our website as new facts are confirmed to keep you informed.

My team has set up a hotline to provide the public with a place to get information, ask questions about this virus and connect with a health professional. I encourage people who have questions to contact us at 416-338-7600.

One of our main roles in public health is to manage public health risks and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We do this each and every day. We all have a role in building a healthier community for our residents. One of the simplest ways we can do this is to not contribute to the spread of misinformation and to share evidence-based facts. Please go to trusted information sources to get the facts, as they are confirmed.

Our advice remains the same: if you are sick, stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids to let your body recover. Only seek medical attention if you are not getting better or your condition is not improving. If you have questions, please rely on credible sources for information, including Toronto Public Health."

The risk to our community remains low. I will let you know directly if this changes. For more information, please visit

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